I flew on a plane for the first time in 140 days this week to spend a few hours covering the re-opening of Walt Disney World. My love of Disney is second only to my love of coworking. You could say that I was a bit nervous about flying in a pandemic. After my flight from Chicago to Orlando , I shared this post on LinkedIn because I was fairly impressed with United Airlines’ new Clean Plus practices. I saw people constantly cleaning at the United Club and in the terminal and on board the plane did indeed appear to be in tip top shape.

You could say, perhaps that the magic of loyalty marketing worked like a charm. Cue Rhapsody in Blue, throw in an extra CleanPlus promotional video and this Premier 1K flyer quickly lulled into a sense of comfort. Here’s a promo video that includes footage that is in the in-flight video as well:

It CLEARLY shows many angles and shots of employees wiping down all the high touch areas and alludes to doing so on all flights.

I Should Have Known Better

Just over 24 hours after that flight, I boarded my return to Chicago and was really disappointed as to what I saw:

This is a zoom in of just one light and air vent over my seat. Do you see all the dirt? Here’s what it looked like after I lightly wiped it down with the single little sanitizer wipe I received:

Do you see the difference? I immediately started looking around and could see this type of dirt/grime/whatever on overhead bins and consistent build up on the lights and vents for other rows as well.

So, What’s the Big Deal?

I’ve never been a germaphobe. (Ask some of my former roommates!) I am however, incredibly cautious about traveling and unnecessarily going out and about whilst in the middle of a pandemic. If United Airlines is going to show video footage of employees cleaning all touchable surfaces and make statements that lead you to believe everything is being cleaned, they should at the very least, DO IT.

I’m not an expert in the field of disinfecting or electrostatic spraying. But, something tells me that if a high touch area like this has that amount of dirt/grime/whatever it was, it wasn’t cleaned. While I appreciate the sanitizer wipe provided, I shouldn’t immediately feel like I need to use it.

This year has brought a lot of changes, but I guess I take comfort (?) in knowing what hasn’t changed is me foolishly being loyal to an airline that seems to be all talk, but often comes up short on action.

The post Is THIS What United Airlines Considers a Clean Airplane? was first published on Coworkaholic.

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